Inside Zzoomm – How Broadband Speeds Work
Have you ever wondered why you get the broadband speed you get? To help you understand what you’re getting, Zzoomm unpacks the two main factors determining your broadband speed and what you can do to get more.
There are two primary factors that determine the broadband speed that you receive at work or home. The first is the broadband infrastructure that connects your home. The second is the service that you choose when you order broadband from your supplier.
Broadband speed is measured in Mbps and your current service could range anywhere from less than 1Mbps up to 10,000Mbps. But there’s a big difference in those numbers as you can see, 9,999Mbps give or take, but what does that really mean for you?
Simply put, the bigger the number the faster the broadband speed. The faster the speed you have at your disposal, the more information/data can pass through it at the same time. So you have a better, quicker, more responsive and smoother experience when connected. Likewise, the smaller the bandwidth you have, the less data can pass through at the same time, and your online experience becomes so sssllooowww. If you’re lucky to live in the fastest town in Britain (that’s Henley if you didn’t already know) you already have a fantastic broadband infrastructure built by us, Zzoomm, and you can order residential broadband speeds up to 2,000Mbps right now or business services which can reach 10,000Mbps.
Understanding what creates your broadband speed is very useful when ordering your service, especially so if you have a busy household with lots of devices connected to your broadband (that’s over Wi-Fi & ethernet cables). Knowing how the speed of your service affects your overall broadband experience is important in helping you decide what service you order for your household. We’ve created an illustration to show you how the devices you use day-to-day are affected by the speed of service you can have.
Many details determine the speed of broadband each individual device can measure so if you’d like to read more about devices or Wi-Fi please see our Home Networking Guide, or see our Speedtesting for the best way to check how fast you’re Zzoomming.
Your broadband is shared across any, and all, devices connected, either by ethernet cable or over Wi-Fi. One device cannot use all the broadband speed if another device is connected. That means your existing copper-based 50Mbps service is spread amongst many device needs, and is why the connection slows down. Simply put, when you have more Mbps speed there is more to share, you can have more devices connected and they all go faster instead of squeezing into the slow 50Mbps speed
What does Mbps mean? The speed of your broadband is measured in megabits per second, or Mbps as you’ll be used to seeing advertised. A fast speed, such as 900Mbps, is like having lots of space for all of the information to pass through, whereas a smaller bandwidth such as 50Mbps is like having a tightly squeezed space for the same volume of information to squeeze through. You’ll always have faster internet across your devices and a better overall experience with faster speeds – size does matter. When all your devices are sharing a slower broadband connection, such as 50Mbps, they all slow down as they fight for space on your service plan. Imagine a motorway with all lanes closed except one and all the public holiday traffic trying to share that lane and get away. Yep data rage can ensue.
Or Jimmy who is on Facetime to friends on his iPad and watching Tiger King on the TV gets the dreaded buffering circle of doom on Netflix, and Sarah’s Call of Duty update on the Xbox then takes 4 hours to download. No one‘s happy because there simply isn’t enough service room for all of this information to pass through. Mum’s important file upload stalls at 33% and dad‘s video conference with the boss turns into a video call with 1980’s 8bit Mario. But with Zzoomm Full Fibre connection Sarah’s download takes minutes and Jimmy never has to see Netflix buffer again and mum & dad can upload files and video call colleagues as often as they like not to mention binging Game of Thrones without slow broadband ruining the action.
A bigger service speed means more people can stream, upload, work, or play online at the same time on the same network and keep sane. With Zzoomm Full Fibre broadband our 400Mbps POW! service gives you a much faster broadband than what you can get from other suppliers… About 6 times faster than others providers here in Henley. Even better is that you can increase the speed of service you have to one of our faster services whenever you’d like. Copper cables have a finite data transfer ability by their very physical makeup. Fibre optical cables are not limited by this material shortcoming as they transfer data by light signals, which provide much larger data capacity. You can find out more about Fibre Optics here. With Zzoomm you can select a service that suits your lifestyle now and, in the future, choose the speed you want for how you want to live your life and then bump up the speed when you want to do more… You can do this because we’re futureproofed, you‘ll never struggle for great bandwidth again. We’ve got your broadband needs covered for years to come.
Did you know?
Even if you’re not using the Internet on your device, let’s say an iPad for example, as long as the iPad is connected to your Wi-Fi, the iPad is still passing information through your service to make sure you get emails, notifications and don’t miss your friends Facetime call.
Remember if you have 20 devices all connected to the broadband over Wi-Fi but you’re only using one, say your smart TV to catch up on your favourite show, your smart TV is still sharing the connection with the other 19 devices. To maximise the speed your service can provide you, connecting your devices by an ethernet cable rather than Wi-Fi will provide you with a much faster, uninterrupted experience.
Copper’s contention confusion & the benefit of bandwidth with Full Fibre–optics
If the broadband network connecting your home still uses copper cables (which 85% of the UK still is) we’ve got to tell you something, not only do you have a slower speed but you’re also sharing those old fashioned cables with your neighbours. That’s right! This is known as contention and is a big problem for homes connected by traditional networks using copper cables.
Have you ever experienced ‘the 6pm drop off’? Your broadband slows down dramatically, you struggle to stream your ‘How to’ videos on YouTube, download podcasts, or upload epic TikToks? That’s because everyone along your street, neighbourhood or in your home, is trying to do the same as you at the same time using the same cables, we‘re creatures of habit. Now go back to our illustration, imagine you’ve got the tight 50Mbps but now all your neighbours want to use it at the same time and you’re all sharing that squeezed space – that’s contention! With Full Fibre–optic networks there’s plenty of space and fast enough speeds to go around, and so contention isn’t a problem. In fact, you don’t have any problems.
You’ll find some broadband suppliers will offer you ‘Fibre’ broadband as a superfast upgrade from copper cables. This is called Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and calling this ‘Fibre broadband’ is a sneaky sales trick. FTTC means Fibre optic cables only connect to the cabinet at the end of your road and then slow copper cables connect your home to the cabinet. The speed boost FTTC broadband gives you also depends on how close your home is to the cabinet, the further from the cabinet your home is the slower your broadband speed will be. Copper cables slow data speeds the further the data must travel or if there‘s rain, or if everyone‘s watching Watchmen at the same time. So, if you have FTTC broadband make sure you live right next to the cabinet!
Did you know?
Ordinarily, when you switch broadband providers the network you use does not change at all. It’s the same old copper network with the same small bandwidth and slow experience. This isn’t the case with Zzoomm as we’ve built our own brand new Full Fibre network.
Find out more reasons to switch to Zzoomm Full Fibre broadband here
A Full Fibre optic network, connected directly to your home is the only way to guarantee amazing broadband speeds. Full Fibre to the premise known as FTTP means the modern fibre optic cables that connect the cabinet along your road also connect your home. That’s why when you order Zzoomm you‘re installed by our engineers, connecting your home directly to our network. Connecting your home is easy, you’ve just got to be in as our engineers do the rest. No more 6 pm drop off and no more waiting for Netflix to load, no more lag in the game just more fun, more streaming, more gaming, and more time to enjoy life.
Check out our video explaining the Copper vs Fibre difference.
What’s Next? A household of devices connected
As our homes become filled with devices, and these devices become smarter, they require more data and take up more of the funnel. We’re going to want huge speeds (and huge funnels) in the future as more of our devices are connected to our broadband.
Luckily our Full Fibre network is futureproofed, runs at up to 2,000Mbps today and can provide your home with speeds up to 10,000Mbps without changing the electronics in the Zzoomm network. (that’s about 200 times faster than the average speed you can get with copper).
By 2023, the average smart home in the UK will have 50 connected devices but how data-hungry is your home today? What devices do you have connected – Alexa? Pebbles? Hive? Lights? Fridge? Toothbrushes? Watches? Baby monitors? Fitbit? TVs? Security camera? Doorbell? Phones? Tablets? Speakers? Computers? Laptops? PS4? Xbox?
With all those factors, what service would fit your life best?
If you’ve counted your devices now think about how you use each device – is your household streaming HD movies on an iPad and an Xbox at the same time? How many house members are working from home together and do they video call?
All our Full Fibre services blow copper services out of the park. Traditional providers can’t compete on speed or reliability. It’s not even fair, its old technology not suited to today’s data gobbling world. If you really want to experience the true benefits of Full Fibre broadband you can begin with our POP! 100Mbps, or get ready for all your device needs with our POW! 400Mbps, our WHOOSH! 900Mbps or even WOW! 2,000Mbps service to Zzoomm online.
Can You Order Zzoomm?
What can I do?
We’ve already built our fabulous, faster new network to thousands of homes across Henley. Your home may be one of them, check the postcode checker below to see if you can order Zzoomm. If you‘re already Zzoomming and you’re looking to get more speed from your Full Fibre broadband service, you can upgrade to one of our faster services by giving us call on 03333 11 99 33.
If you’d like to discover more about broadband here are some related articles:
Here are some other long and short reads to help you get up to speed with your speed!
So now you know about data, you can work out the speed you really want, not just what the others give you and you can get Zzoomming!